Back in June, The Globe exclusively reported that four plaintiffs, represented by Attorney and Republican National Committeewoman Sigal Chattah, filed a lawsuit against Republican Governor Joe Lombardo and Democratic Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar challenging the legality of Senate Bill 406 known as the Election Worker Protection Bill. The legislation creates a new category for a criminal offense toward “undefined” election workers. The Bill was introduced by Aguilar, passed both chambers of the Nevada Legislature, and signed into law by Governor Lombardo.
In late October, U.S. District Court Judge Cristina D. Silva dismissed the lawsuit but provided the plaintiff’s to amend the complaint.
In her temporary ruling, Judge Silva cited that the plaintiffs do not have standing as they failed to allege a threat of “imminent, credible harm” and have failed to demonstrate “that there exists a credible threat of prosecution.”
“A plaintiff’s subjective and irrational fear of prosecution is not enough to confer standing,” Silva wrote.
Chattah has now amended the complaint (see below) which was met by a motion to dismiss by the defendants. Chattah cites Attorney General Aaron Ford’s own words to provide a “reasonable threat” of prosecution:
Trump also told "his supporters" to "go into the polls and watch very carefully."
But he wasn't talking about poll watching. He was talking about voter intimidation.
FYI — voter intimidation is illegal in Nevada. Believe me when I say it: You do it, and you will be prosecuted.
— Aaron D. Ford (@AaronDFordNV) September 30, 2020
On or about September 29, 2020, Attorney General Aaron Ford said he was ready to prosecute anyone attempting voter intimidation in Nevada after President Donald Trump’s call during the debate to have his supporters “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” Ford, said that he considered the president’s [Trump] comments to be a “dog whistle” encouraging voter intimidation, citing the president’s past comments suggesting that voters cast both mail and in- person ballots to test the system and his instruction for the right-wing extremist “Proud Boys” group to “stand back and stand by.
Nevada’s own Attorney General unilaterally speculated and decided that a statement to poll watchers to remain vigilant and ensure elections were not tampered with, was a call to intimidate voters and threatened to prosecute poll watchers.
The plaintiffs maintain that an “election official”, cited in Chapter 293 of the law, is broad, undefined and relies on “absurd” subjective complaints of threats and intimidation which would result in a Class E felony of the accused. Furthermore, they allege that the law may conflict with the current Nevada law that provides the general public, poll watchers, and volunteers to observe polling places and ballot locations, such as tabulation areas and warehouses.2nd AMND COMP Electio worker
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